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- in an alley and later in the episode having to do with the truck. In both instances, the brutality and violence are particularly spectacular and dramatized in unacceptable length and detail.

The action of the boys attacking appears to be excessively brutal both in quantity and quality of detail. Specifically, we have in mind the action of the two boys holding against the wall while a third one beats him. The staging of this action should be done more by suggestion than by actually photographing, and specifically, there should be no kicking or kneeing.

If the Production Code Administration feels that in a certain film there is an excessive amount of violence and brutality or an excessive amount of sex suggestiveness, it is possible for them to withhold their seal if the producer is a signatory member of the association. If a signatory member of the association proceeds to release a film that has not been approved by the Production Code Administration, he is liable to a fine of $25,000.

In the last 15 years, there have been only 2 films produced by major companies that did not receive the seal of approval from the Motion Picture Production Code. There have also been a number of foreign films submitted to the Code Administration which have been refused a seal. One of these pictures was an independently produced film called The Moon Is Blue and one was the picture produced by one of the major studios, RKO, called The French Line. Both of these films were released without the seal of approval. In the case of The Moon Is Blue, neither the producer nor the distributing company was then a member of the association. Consequently, they were not subject to the $25,000 fine. In the case of The French Line, the fine was never assessed against the producer. However, when the film was subsequently brought into line with the code, the violation was overlooked.

Mr. Shurlock indicated that the following reasons should be underlined as causative factors in the apparent increase in violence, brutality, and sadism in motion-picture films:

(1) The reason that some of this violence is being objected to is that it no longer appears in the old-type western picture, but has been brought up to date into a type of picture in which the characters are more readily recognizable and identifiable. In the standard westerns there is an aura of the fairytale about the portrayal that does not bring an audience into direct identification. However, when this type of story is told in a modern setting, the violence and brutality seem to affect the public more strongly.

(2) There seems to be on the part of the public a greater resentment against violence because, unfortunately, there have been recently fewer of the old-style family type of picture. That is, pictures of a violent nature are not increasing in number; however, fewer of the domestic comedies and pictures completely divorced from violence have been produced, so that when the family goes to the movies they see during the course of the year a greater proportion of violent pictures than they may have done previously. 32

Referring to television, Mr. Shurlock also felt that a family which has sat through a television play from 5 to 6:30 consisting of standard western violence, then put the children to bed, and gone to the theater, sat through a double bill consisting of Crashout and pictures of that type feel that they have had too much violence for one day. Mr. Shurlock stated further:

I think that they take out their resentment on the movies which are not necessarily any more violent than the previous shows because they have to pay for the movies.

* Shurlock, Geoffrey, statement in hearings before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, Motion Pictures, U. S. Senate, held on June 17, 1955, pp. 190–191.

Mr. Shurlock did admit, however, that the probability existed that the children might not be put to bed and that they also might see the twin bill and be exposed to many scenes of violence in one evening.

In discussing the connection of the Motion Picture Production Code with foreign countries and films produced by them, Mr. Shurlock stated that occasionally a foreign producer would like to get his picture released in the United States and that there is nothing to prevent him from releasing the picture without the seal of approval. Many times, however, the foreign producer would like to obtain the services of one of the major releasing companies which require the seal of approval before they will handle the picture. In that case, the producer sends, or brings, the film to the Code Administration and asks that it be reviewed to determine whether or not it conforms with the code; and if he is granted the seal, this enables him to ask a major releasing company to handle the picture. . Many foreign films of the objectionable type, however, play in the so-called art houses, i. e., a limited number of theaters. Therefore, the producers of these films do not need the seal of approval because of their limited play and their limited audiences. This, in part, may account for the relative freedom in sexually suggestive scenes which have come under much criticism from the public. The producers of these films know that the content centers on sex exploitation and they know they cannot conceivably get the Production Code seal of approval.

There actually is no relationship between the Production Code Administration and the exhibiting houses or the theater owners themselves. The theater owners, through their organizations, Theater Owners of America and the Allied States Association of Motion Picture Exhibitors, do not require the seal of approval as a prerequisite for the showing of pictures in their particular movie houses. Because of a monopoly suit, the Government ordered divorcement of the producing and distributing companies from the theaters which they owned. Thus, the Motion Picture Association of America, which is a combination of both producing and releasing companies, no longer owns its own theaters. The result is that there is no working agreement in regard to requiring a seal of approval on the part of the theater owners at the present time.

The Production Code Administration is financed autonomously by fees paid by the individual producers for viewing the motion picture. The Code Administration does not receive any money from the parent association, that is the Motion Picture Association of America, and the fees are made out to the Production Code Administration. The Production Code has its own accounting system, all of which is under the control of an auditor in New York. This system was set up originally because a great many of the individuals submitting their pictures were not members of the association, and it was thought better that th code staff operate entirely as an autonomous association, not financed by the major companies. In that way the independent producer might think that he was dealing with an organization which was not controlled by the major producers. This system was developed in the early days of motion-picture making. However, in recent years it has become less important but the system still persists.

The Production Code was written and adopted in 1930. It was not, however, until 1934 that the successful method of implementing the code was worked out. The method is the granting of the certificate of approval and the agreement on the part of the producers and distributors not to handle a picture that did not bear the certificate of approval. Up until that time, there had been no such definite sanction and this, according to Mr. Shurlock, is what makes the code work.

In the course of reviewing a film script and film for the seal of approval, two members of the code staff always review the finished film, although sections of the sound track may not have been "dubbed” in as in the final production. It is mandatory upon the producer to submit the finished picture to the code staff before the seal is given and when the final letter is written granting the seal of approval on the script, a paragraph is added which reads:

You understand, of course, our final opinion will be based upon the finished picture.

The Motion Picture Production Code can be amended from time to time. Whenever the industry generally and the board of directors in particular feel that certain amendments are advisable, they assemble the board of directors and approve such amendments which are then put into the code.


The motion pictures discussed in this section were chosen for viewing by the subcommittee staff from lists provided by the Production Code Administration, and from official reviews printed by the industry press. All of the pictures under consideration were recent releases. The following list of 146 motion pictures passed through the Production Code Administration from January 1 to June 1, 1955. The files containing the correspondence between the various producers and the staff of the production code were studied for those pictures marked by asterisks.

Feature pictures approved by Production Code Administration, Jan. 1-June 1,

1955 Title

Producing Company Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy-- Universal-International. Abdullah the Great---

Gregory Ratoff. The Adventures of Sadie

Renown. Ain't Misbehavin'.

Universal International. Air Strike

Cy Roth *All That Heaven Allows..

Universal-International. Angela

Patria Pictures Corp. The Bar Sinister...

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *Betrayed Women.

William F. Broidy Pictures Corp. *The Big Tip Off_

Do. *The Blackboard Jungle

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *The Brass Ring--

Fame Pictures, Inc. (Small). Bride of the Atom.-.

Packing Service Corp. Bring Your Smile Along

Columbia Pictures Corp. *A Bullet for Joey-

Bischoff-Diamond Corp. * The Case of the Red Monkey

Todon Productions. *Chicago Syndicate---

Clover Productions. *City of Shadows-----

Republic Productions, Inc. *The Cobweb.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *Count Three and Pray.

Copa Productions. *Court Martial

Remus Productions, Ltd. *Crashout

Standard Productions. Creature With the Atom Brain_

Clover Productions. *Cross Channel.

Republic Productions, Inc.

Feature pictures approved by Production Code Administration, Jan. 1-June 1,

1955—Continued Title

Producing Company *The Cult of the Cobra.

Universal-International. Daddy Long Legs--

20th Century Fox. *Dark Venture--.

Lindsley Parsons Productions. Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Walt Disney Productions. *The Deadly Game--

Hammer. *Desert Sands.

Camden Productions, Inc. *The Desperate Hours.

Paramount Pictures Corp. *Devil Goddess..

Clover Productions. *Dial Red O--

Allied Artists. *Double Jeopardy

Kepublic Productions, Inc. *Duel on the Mississippi..

Clover Productions. The Eternal Sea...

Republic Productions, Inc. *Five Against the House

Dayle Productions. Flame of Africa.--

Springbok Pictures (Pty), Ltd. *A Foreign Adventure_

Republic Productions, Inc. Francis in the Navy

Universal-International. *The French Line--

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. *Fury in Paradise --

Howard Coldren Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.

Russfield-Voyager. The Girl Rush..

Independent Artists. *The Green Scarf

London Films. *The Gun That Won the West

Clover Productions. A Handful of Clouds--

Warner Bros. Hangover

Burt Kaiser Productions. Hit the Deck.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *House of Bamboo---

20th Century-Fox. *I Cover the Underworld

Republic Productions, Inc. *I Died a Thousand Times.

Warner Bros. *Illegal-

Do. Innocents in Paris.

Romulus. An Inspector Calls_

London Films. Interrupted Melody-

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Invitation to the Dance_.

Do. Jail Busters.-

Allied Artists. *The Kentuckian..

James Productions, Inc. *Kentucky Rifle_.

Howco Productions. *The Killer's Kiss ---

Menotaur Productions, Inc. King Dinosaur..

Zimgor. The King's Thief...

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *Kiss Me Deadly.

Parklane Productions. Kiss of Fire..

Universal-International. ady and the imp-

Walt Disney Productions. *Las Vegas Shakedown

William F. Broidy. *The Last Command..

Republic Productions, Inc. *A Life at Stake...

Telecraft Productions, Inc. *The Lock and the Key.

Batjac. *The Lonesome Trail..

L & B Productions. * Lord of the Jungle--

Allied Artists. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

20th Century-Fox. Love Me or Leave Me..

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Lovers, Happy Lovers_

Paul Graetz. The McConnell Story

Warner Bros. The Magnificent Matador--

National Pictures Corp. *Mambo--

Ponti-DeLaurentis. *The Marauders..

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Marty

Steven Productions. Mister Roberts.

Warner Bros. * Moon fleet

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. *Murder in Villa Capri.

Burton Pictures Production, Inc. My Sister Eileen..

Columbia Pictures Corp. *The Naked Dawn-

Josef Shaftel Co. *The Night Holds Terror

Andrew Stone. *The Night of the Hunter

Paul Gregory Productions, Inc.

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Feature pictures approved by Production Code Administration, Jan. 1-June 1,

1955–Continued Title

Producing Company *Not as a Stranger.

Stanley Kramer Productions. Oklahoma-

Rodgers & Hammerstein Pictures,

Inc. *One Desire--

Universal-International. Pearl of the South Pacific --

Filmcrest Productions, Inc. The Private War of Major Benson.- Universal-International. *The Purple Mask.

Do. The Purple Plain.

Pinewood Films. *The Queen Bee_

Columbia Pictures Corp. *Rebound.--

Frankovich. The River Changes.

Warner Bros. *The Road to Denver_

Republic Productions, Inc. *Santa Fe Passage--

Do. *The Scarlet Coat..

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The Sea Chase--

Warner Bros. *The Seven Year Itch..

20th Century-Fox. *Secret Venture_

Republic Productions, Inc. The Shrike

Universal-International. Simba -

J. Arthur Rank. Sir Walter Raleigh.

20th Century-Fox. Soldier of Fortune

Do. *Son of Sinbad..

RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc. Special Delivery.

N. Peter Rathvon. Spy Chasers_

Allied Artists. *Strange Lady in Town.

Warner Bros. *Strange Love --

N-A-C Productions, *Target Zero.

Warner Bros. *Teen-Age Crime Wave_

Clover Productions. *That Lady -

Atlanta Films, Ltd. There's Always Tomorrow.

Universal-International. *They Were So Young

Corona Films. This Island Earth....

Universal-International. *Tight Spot---

Columbia Pictures Corp. *To Catch a Thief.

Paramount Pictures Corp. To Hell and Back.

Universal-International. Top of the World..

Landmark Productions, Inc. *The Town Tamer.

Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. (Formosa

Productions). *Track the Man Down.

Republic Productions, Inc. Ulysses--

Lux-Ponti-De Laurentis. The Vagabond King

Paramount Pictures Corp. *Violent Saturday

20th Century Fox. Wakamba.

Jarville Studios. The Warrior..

Anglo-Allied Pictures, Inc. *Wichita.

Allied Artists. You're Never Too Young--

Paramount Pictures Corp.

Feature pictures reviewed but not yet approved by the PCA, Jan. 1-June 1, 1955 Title

Producing company Artists and Models.-

Wallis-Paramount-Hazen. Female on the Beach..

Universal-International. *Fort Yuma

Camden Productions. Hell's Horizon..

Gravis Productions. *Massacre

Lippert Pictures. One Step to Eternity

Films E. G. E. Pete Kelly's Blues--

Warner Bros. *The Phenix City Story -

Bishchoff-Diamond Corp. The Sea Shall Not Have Them.

Apollo. The Second Greatest Sex..

Universal-International. *Sins of Pompeii.

Salvo D'Angelo. *The Spoilers -

Universal-International. Summertime..

United Artists.

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